Eric Staal’s Saturday is over early thanks to lower-body injury


Eric Staal left Saturday’s Carolina Hurricanes – New York Islanders game and didn’t return because of a lower-body injury.

To state the obvious, it’s a tough blow for the Hurricanes, a team that seemed to be getting a little bit healthier lately.

It’s more problematic for Staal personally, however, as one cannot help but wonder if this is a bad time to get injured. After all, the Canadian Olympic roster announcements are just days away, as the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno points out.

The big 29-year-old was heating up lately, too, with five points in his previous two games coming into Saturday’s game. Overall, he’s generated 35 points in 42 games this season (counting tonight’s contest).

The game has an injury and at least one controversial moment, as Matt Martin delivered a questionable hit on Ryan Murphy. (More on that when video becomes available.)

Update: Carolina fans can take heart that the Hurricanes won, at least, beating the Islanders 3-2.

‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear exactly what the injury is now or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.

Video: Giroux can’t convert season’s first penalty shot

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A night of firsts for Claude Giroux, but not the first he really wanted.

Giroux was awarded a penalty shot in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener against Tampa Bay — the first penalty shot of the season, and the first penalty shot of his career.

But unfortunately for Giroux, Ben Bishop‘s timely stick-lift prevented what would’ve been his first-ever penalty shot goal.

This proved one of the noteworthy highlights from a fairly run-of-the-mill opening frame. Neither team found the back of the net, though the visiting Flyers held a 13-10 advantage in shots on goal.